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The Trader Magazine for Trading Standards Approved Businesses

Issue 2 I March 2013

Spot the Good Eggs


Looking for a business you can trust? Trading Standards have done your homework... Trading Standards have checked out local businesses to make sure that they are reliable, honest and trade fairly.. And we have approved the ones we think are the best.All you need to do is get 3 quotes and find the best price!

Click on www.traderscheme.org.uk or call 0151 691 8369


The Trader I Contents

Welcome Happy Easter to all of our member businesses! As we approach spring and the new financial year, this means membership renewal time has arrived. You should have received your renewal form for 2013/14 membership and I hope that you will be staying with us for a further 12 months. Also, I’m pleased to say that membership fees have not been increased and there is now the facility to pay over 12 monthly payments costing just £17.08 per month. Most of you by now should have received your new marketing pack with the Trading Standards Approved brand, leaflets, and certificate. If you have not arranged to pick up or have your pack delivered, please call the team on 0151 691 8369. It is important that we all start to roll out the new brand!

SPECIAL FEATURE Beware of Green Deal Rogues Pages 6 -7

Contents 4 Wirral top for growth 6 Green Deal Rogues 7 Constructionline 8 Community Alcohol Partnership 11 News 12 TaxAssist Recycling Campaign

In this months newsletter, there is an interesting and positive article about Wirral being the top area for business growth - we hope this is a sign that the economy is improving which will benefit all of our approved businesses. Have a great easter!

Nicky

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It’s Official: Wirral is the place to do business

Wirral has been named the UK’s top area for new business growth. Wirral has seen a quarterly growth of 4.67% in the number of companies registered in the borough. The figures are published by independent business performance resource Duport, which gathers and analyses business performance data from Companies House, the Office for National Statistics and Ordnance Survey. Councillor Phil Davies, Leader of Wirral Council said: “We are seeing an exciting growth in new enterprise in Wirral, a growth which will create jobs and bring further investment to our area. These figures show a greater rate of growth in the number of companies formed than giants like London and Manchester, and show Wirral far exceeding our neighbours in Liverpool and Chester. Our work through initiatives like the Wirral Apprentice Programme and with private sector Issue 2 I March 2013 4


The Trader I Local Economy

on our Investment Strategy Board will further fuel our drive to revitalise the local economy.” Duport’s figures place Wirral first of the ‘top 100 towns by their relative net growth’. Warrington is next from the region in 12th place, with Liverpool in 44th place and Chester 95th. Wirral Council is currently working alongside Cammell Laird to set up a new Operations and Maintenance facility for the offshore wind industry. Wirral Council was successful in bidding for £5 million from the Regional Growth Fund to support the development of the borough as a hub for the offshore wind industry. The borough is also set to host major events including the International Festival of Business and the Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Course, Hoylake, both in 2014.

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The Trader I Consumer Advice

Beware of Rogues claiming to be apart of the Green Deal Scheme Trading Standards Services across England are warning consumers to be alert for telephone and door step scams offering the Governments new ‘Green Deal’. February saw the launch of the ‘Green Deal’ scheme. Under the scheme, householders are able to finance home improvements to make their homes more energy efficient, with no upfront costs. Repayments are made through the household energy bill over a period of time, the ‘Golden Rule’ being that the expected financial savings must be equal to or greater than the costs attached to the energy bill. Following an assessment, authorised providers carry out work which may include a new central heating system, loft insulation, double glazing etc. Trading Standards are already dealing with complaints since the launch of the scheme, including cases where residents have received unsolicited phone calls or have been visited by door-to-door salespeople allegedly offering the new ‘Green Deals’, or claiming other government grants are available. Examples of complaints include:A consumer who had recently installed new double glazed windows in her property, only to be contacted by another trader who told her that the new windows needed condemning and replacing, a quote was given which included a discount for a supposed government grant. Issue 2 I March 2013 6


A consumer was cold called by a trader purporting to be from the Energy Saving Trust, offering solar panels, claiming that the scheme was government backed. When the consumer checked with the genuine company they informed the consumer that that the Energy Saving Trust do not make cold calls to consumers. On a different occasion a consumer received an un-solicited telephone call offering free solar panels. The consumer agreed to a visit, only to be told that the solar panels would cost £8,000. The company then tried to persuade the consumer to enter into a finance agreement to pay for them. A 76 year old woman complained that she had been offered an “old age pensioner discount” for double glazing. The trader offered a 20% discount, which was only available if she ordered that day. Other recent tactics used by traders include:-

Offering grants through the Energy Saving Trust Claiming huge energy savings for installing solar panels and air to water heating systems Offering free Home Energy Surveys Offering double glazing as part of a government run scheme

The message from Trading Standards is that consumers should not contract with anyone calling door-todoor. The ‘Green Deal’ is only delivered through government contracted assessors and providers. These contractors are identified with unique numbers which have been allocated to them, details of these can be found at www.gov.uk/green-deal-energy-saving-measures or by calling 0300 123 1234. Issue 2 I March 2013 7


The Trader I Constructionline

Sign up to Government register of construction contractors Construction companies interested in construction industry pre-qualification carrying out work for the council can process. apply to sign up to be considered for future projects. By joining Constructionline, construction related companies will have to satisfy the Constructionline, owned by the Department basic pre-qualification requirements. This of Trade and Industry, is the government- means accepted companies will only need to approved register of pre-qualified submit their Constructionline registration construction contractors. Any invitations number and any project-specific details to to tender for Wirral Council construction pre-qualify for contracts. contracts are sent to between six and nine firms, chosen from a randomly produced In 2013 Wirral Council is likely to be short-list from those businesses registered procuring various construction works in with Constructionline. excess of ÂŁ10m. The council is particularly seeking suppliers with the following trades: Constructionline has been developed to Building General; Building Finishes; Civil cutting the amount of duplication in the Engineering.

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The Trader I Community Alcohol Partnership

First Community Alcohol Partnership in the Northwest The first Community Alcohol Partnership in the North West is being launched in the East Wallasey area. Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP’s) are aimed at reducing young people’s access to alcohol, building on work already undertaken by Wirral Council’s Trading Standards service and Merseyside Police. CAP’s have been successfully trialled in a number of areas around Britain, including London, Durham and Shropshire. The East Wallasey CAP will focus on Seacombe and New Brighton, and is aimed at cutting incidents of underage alcohol sales and promoting responsible drinking. The CAP will see a number of agencies working together and sharing best practice, including Wirral Council’s Trading Standards service, officers from the Council’s Children and Young People’s Department, Merseyside Police, and local retailers. The project is backed by Community Alcohol Partnerships CiC. The project will inform and advise young people on sensible drinking limits and help local communities to tackle alcohol-related problems. Work will also focus on breaking down the barriers between retailers, publicans and enforcement agencies, and involving parents and young people from the community in the process. Chief Inspector Nick Gunatilleke, said: “I am pleased to announce this new initiative by Wirral Issue 2 I March 2013 8

Council and its partners. To reduce underage drinking, and to promote responsible drinking we need to work together with those who sell alcohol to better understand the problems they face and try to deal with them. The knock-on effects of binge drinking to individuals and local communities can be severe and together we can bring about a change in attitudes and behaviour. “The CAP will build on our successful programme of enforcement and preventative activity, such as the business training given to independent retailers.”

Cllr Bill Davies said: “The Community Alcohol Partnership is another example of close partnership work at a community level between Wirral Council and our partners at Merseyside Police and with local residents. Alcohol is one of the most serious, if not the most serious problem that blights communities, and tackling underage sales and educating people about its dangers is key to our strategy in making Wirral a healthier and safer place to live.

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Wirral

You can help to make a massive difference to the lives of local older people As a local independent charity, Age UK relies on the generosity of local people and business to help fund our work across the borough. The money we generate is invested in services for older people and their carers here in Wirral. It is only with support of our local donors that we are able to undertake such valuable work. If you are able to help support our work, you can give a one-off or regular donation. Whatever you are able to give, we are truly grateful.

To donate, please contact Pat Lloyd on on 0151 666 2220.


New Car Parking Charges in Wirral

Standardised parking rates across all Wirral Council car parks come into force from next month. The changes bring parking charges in places like West Kirby, Heswall and Liscard in line with charges that are currently in place in Birkenhead town centre municipal car parks. That means that the first hour of parking in a Councilrun car park will be £1.05 from 8th April 2013. In many of the car parks, it will be £1.65 to park for up to two hours, up to three will be £2.05, up to four hours the price will £3.40 and up to five will be £4.10. Any period over five hours will be £8. There are some exceptions to this tariff. At the long stay car park in Upper Mount Avenue in Heswall, for example, the first two hours of parking will cost £1.05, and anything longer than that will be charged at an all-day rate of £4.10. In the long-stay car parks in Birkenhead - Woodside Approach, Elgin Way, Hinson St, Duncan St and Quarry Bank Street – it will be £1.05 to park for up to one hour or £4.10 for all day. At the Price Street car park, at the back of Conway Street railway station, prices will be £1.05 for up to one hour, £1.65 to park for up to two hours, up to three will be £2.05 and £2.90 to park all day. In addition, in the long-stay, on-street pay and display bays around Birkenhead, the Council is introducing a reduced £2.50 all day parking rate. People will also be able to purchase an annual permit to park in these spaces at a cost of £570 per year, with an option to pay monthly. From the end of March, funding for the ‘Free After 3’ parking scheme runs out and the Council has decided not to continue with this offer. That means that people parking in Council-run car parks after 3pm will have to pay at the appropriate parking rate. For full details, visit www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/transport-andstreets/parking.

The Trader I News

Value For Money Easter Egg Competiton The Business Approval Scheme is sponsoring this year’s Trading Standards ‘Value for Money’ Easter Egg Competition. This year has seen the largest number of entrants, with ten primary schools from across Wirral involved. Each school is provided with three easter eggs and children must decide which is the best value for money, by weighing, measuring, and of course, tasting! This gets children thinking about the meaning of value for money from an early age, and encourages their creative side as they display their findings on a colourful poster. This years winner will be decided by Trading Standards Manager, Derek Payet, Joanna Parry from the Business Approval Team, Cllr Brian Kenny and Trader of the Year, Renroh Engineering – look out for the announcement of the winning school in the local press!

BRDO contacting member businesses Please be aware that the BRDO are currently contacting all businesses that have signed up to a primary authority relationship with Wirral Council Trading Standards Service. A primary authority relationship is when businesses can select and nominate aTrading Standards office to deal with all of their Trading Standards issues such as business advice, customer complaints and business compliance.

traderscheme.org.uk it’s a hit! Over 3000 consumers have searched for trusted businesses and accessed advice on traderscheme. org.uk since its launch on January 1st 2013. This demonstrates that consumer awareness of the scheme is increasing and consumers are taking the time to research into traders before they buy services. Trading Standards will continue to promote the scheme and ask that all member businesses continue to support and promote it too! Issue 2 I March 2013 11


recycle your used inkjet cartridges & mobile phones and we will make a contribution on your behalf to Round Table Children’s Wish

Recycling is easy: Take a Freepost envelope.

Place your item(s) into the envelope.

Freepost the envelope back to The Recycling Factory.

For further information please scan or visit:

www.therecyclingfactory.com/rtcw or freephone: 0800 091 0696


The Trader I TaxAssist Accountants

Recycle and Raise Funds for Children’s Charity Trading Standards Approved ‘TaxAssist Accountants’ support the small national charity Round Table Children’s Wish (RTCW). The TaxAssist network to date have raised over £20,000 through a variety of events.

How to Recycle

The charity was established by members of the Round Table in 1990 to make wishes come true for children (aged between 3-17 years of age) with life-threatening illnesses throughout Great Britain and Ireland. When medical science has done its utmost and hope of recovery is fading, RTCW provides a unique experience by creating an opportunity for lasting memories and by granting their wish, we lift their spirits at the very time they need it most.

To recycle your items, simply: Pop them in the FREEPOST envelope (email your details to: wirralmersey@taxassist.co.uk with “RECYCLE” as the subject to receive yours) and post them.

Imagine having a child in your family who has a lifethreatening illness and the effect it would have on everyone – it would be completely overwhelming. All wishes require an incredible amount of organising and this is carried out by a dedicated team but they can only do this with our help in fundraising or perhaps helping to source items for wishes. Please support our Charity Recycling Scheme.

How the Scheme Works You can recycle your ORIGINAL INKJET CARTRIDGES, TONERS and MOBILE PHONES and raise money to grant a child’s wish. The recycling company makes a donation to the charity for each item recycled. Different items have different recycling values.

If you use toners, repack them in their original box and securely tape the FREEPOST envelope to the box so the address is clearly visible and post.

TaxAssist Accountants focuses on raising funds to grant wishes for local children. Anyone who wants to refer a child/young person to have a wish granted should not hesitate to contact the charity. Details and an online referral form are on the website www.rtcw.org Issue 2 I March 2013 13


Give your business a competitive edge..... become a Trading Standards Approved Business The Trading Standards Business Approval Scheme gives official approval to businesses that meet a set of standards and agree to a Code of Practice. Approved businesses are qualified to use the certification mark - which demonstrates high standards of customer service, business compliance, quality goods and services, a skilled workforce, honest sales and marketing techniques and an effective complaint handling system in case things go wrong. Trading Standards promote all certified businesses to consumers as businesses we trust.

To apply for membership, visit www.traderscheme.org.uk or call 0151 691 8369 for an application pack.


The Trader I Member Directory

A & S Garden Services A 2 B Skip Hire (Wirral) Ltd A1 Improvements Abbey Electrical Contractors Wirral Ltd Activate Business Systems Ltd Alan D Scoffield Heating Ltd Annadale Roofing Ltd Argyle Electrical Ltd Astra Property Care Ltd Atlas Fire & Security Ltd Bebington Glass and Glazing Ltd Bell Contractors Ltd Bell Mobility Ltd Belmar & Liston Funeral Directors Ltd Beneck Preservation Ltd Billing and Rowan Building Contractors Bluecrest Mobility Services Borough Property Services Ltd Busy Bees Maid Service (Northwest) Ltd C & C Plumbing Services C & T Landscaping Caldy Construction Company CJ Charles Heating *New Member* Clearground Ltd Colin Jones Bathrooms Cureton Gas Services Ltd D & R Services NW Ltd D Atherton Painting & Decorating DDA Ramps & (Building) Adaptations Ltd Derek’s Building Services Discount VW Audi Centre Ltd E.Twigg Builders Empty Homes Partnership LLP Everite Windows Limited F Wilson & Son Furber Roofing Ltd Gateway Development Limited Gilmore Developments Ltd Green Lane Car Spares Heating Plus NW Helix Roofing Contractors Ltd Higher Bebington Gas Ltd Home Heating Systems J J Kelly (Builders) Ltd J.Dodd Bathroom Design and Installation JBC Building & Disability Adaptations Ltd JC Plumbing & Heating & Electrical Services JEL Electrical Contractors Ltd JFW Construction Ltd JHS Group Ltd

John McManus Painting & Decorating Johnson Heating (Liverpool) Ltd Kane & Able Developments KBH Accountants Ltd *New Member* Les Perry (Roofing Contractors) Ltd Lock And Key Master Ltd Manley Tyres & Exhausts MCA Services MCN Builders Ltd Mentseux Builders Merilyn Phillips Ltd Midland Building and Property Repairs Ltd Minshull Windows Ltd N & P Windows Ltd Norman Hayes & Son NTC Building Contractors Ltd OLR Construction P & R Contractors (Wirral) Ltd Penny Lane Builders Ltd Perrys SGE Ltd Peter D Welch Electrical Contractors Ltd Plumbline Plumbing & Heating PP Electrical Services R C Cook and Son Brickwork R J M Building and Decorating Services Renovate Wirral Ltd Renroh Engineering Ryan Corrigan S Webster Builders S.T.L Plumbing & Heating Ltd Scafftech Scaffolding Solutions Ltd SH Heating & Plumbing Services Solar Clearsky Spar Roofing Ltd Strongpark Estates Ltd TaxAssist Accountants Technical Building Services The Nursery Kitchen Ltd The Way Ahead Equity Release Ltd Ultra Seal Windows and Conservatories Ltd Village Electrical Services Village Motor Company Ltd Wendywise Garden Services Wholesale Windows at Wholesale Prices Ltd Wirral Drainage Wirral Fascias Ltd Wirral Property Services Wirral Roofcare Ltd

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Contact us: Business Approval Team Trading Standards Wirral Council 0151 691 8369 businessapprovalteam@wirral.gov.uk www.traderscheme.org.uk


The Trader Issue 2